Thursday, December 14, 2006

over the rhine and through the woods

Yesterday I got the new Over the Rhine Christmas cd, Snow Angels, in the mail from I’ve always had a hard time “reviewing” music. It’s something that is so subjective. Plus, I think you have to hear the music to get it. To appreciate it. To allow the lyrics to come alive.

What I can tell you is this.

Well, first of all, in the spirit of full disclosure, let me say that Over the Rhine is my favorite band and they have been for a very long time. Their music is the closest that I’ve experienced to the music that I make in my heart and in my head. (Okay, I know what some of you that know me well are thinking. And I don’t mean the cartoon soundtrack that plays in the background wherever I go. I mean the other music for the settled moments.)

Before this turns into an Ode to OTR I’ll try to stick with covering this particular album.

I think this cd is excellent. Musically. Lyrically. Vocally. Instrumentally. Artistically. In presentation and in packaging. First rate. It is different from most Christmas cds in that every track, from bluesy to folksy to Americana, is an original song. There are no new arrangements of Christmas/Wintertide/Holiday classics. There are a few brief borrowed variations on a theme in music and in lyric. But over all each song is an original Bergquist and/or Detweiler work.

There are songs that could be considered sacred/worship songs. And others that walk that perimeter. There are also some holiday songs that celebrate family and relationships and romance and Creation and cooler days. And one that, frankly, makes me blush!

Tonight my cousin and his wife and my friend and I will have the pleasure of seeing Over the Rhine on their Christmas tour as they make a stop in Nashville at 3rd and Linsdley. We will breath in each note. We’ll be warmed like a good story by a fireplace. We’ll be moved. We’ll be lulled. It will be a luxurious experience. It always is.

Bring me a white horse for Christmas
We’ll ride him through the town
Out into the snowy woods
Where we will both lie down

Underneath white birches
Our faces toward the sky
We will make snow angels
With our white horse standing by

Hush now baby
One day we’re gonna ride
Hush now baby
Our white horse through the sky

-White Horse from the album, "Snow Angels"
Words and Music by Lindord Detweiler

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